Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fast Tolt Has Suspension

Labratory used for gait
Viktoria Östlund wrote her masters thesis on "Limb phasing Icelandic horses".  She studied 20 Icelandic horses using the ETB limb phasing system which measures the speed, stride length, stride duration and symmetry of the horse's legs at different gaits. She came up with some interesting findings.

She suggests using a more mechanical means to judge the quality of gait at breeding evaluations and competitions.  "ETB-Pegasus Limp Phasing (ETB-Pegasus, 2011) is a system measuring movements of the horse. The system consists of four synchronized sensor monitors fitted to brushing boots mounted on each cannon bone of the horse and a GPS (Global Positioning Sensor). In ridden horses the GPS sensor is fitted on the rider."

Fast tolt has a moment of suspension:In reviewing past research, she found that "Zips et al. 2001 ...found that Icelandic horses had a suspension phase in tölt of higher speed, i.e. when reaching 4.4 m/s. Only one of 23 horses did not show a suspension phase in fast tölt. The results of Nicodemus & Clayton, 2003 and Zips et al. 2001 indicate that the definition of tölt should be reviewed and tripedal support and/or suspension phase characteristics should be included where relevant."  Östlund suggests that FEIF might want to rewrite its gait descriptions to take into account this finding.

Pace is less symetrical that tolt and trot:"The difference between the forelimbs as well as for the hindlimbs in limb phasing is assumed to be 0.5 if the horse moves symmetrically. As seen in table 3, pace differs from the other gaits with respect to the differences between the phase means as being less symmetric than tölt and trot, the forelimb symmetry in pace is estimated to 0.46 whereas in tölt it is 0.5 and in trot 0.51."

Canter varies in speed and phases between left and right leads:"...there is a difference between left and right canter, both in mean speed and differences in phase mean between the limbs which indicates of different mean beat in right versus left canter. "

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